Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Commentary By Samuel Strait – March 5, 2022

When I first reported on the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program

(PPP) Covid “Loans”, it occurred to me that something for at least some of the
“Loans” was a bit “Off”.  It was the intention of the Federal Government
to protect those employees who had been “laid off” due to local and
state government mandates that prevented them from going to work at
their regular jobs.  Since employers would be shuttered and prevented
from making those payrolls, the government elected to extend loans to
those employers who were shut down which would enable them to “make”
payroll and retain their work force.  It also allowed employers to pay
for certain items such as lease payments, rent, utilities, and a few
other expenses that they would be unable to pay for DUE TO LOSS OF INCOME.

The question that I would have for a local farming business who claimed
rather substantial PPP loans, most of which were “forgiven”, to pay
employees to “sit at home” for an extended period of time, was did they
actually close their doors?  For example, could a local farming family
actually be able to apply for several PPP loans to the tune of nearly
$1.4 million dollars, all forgiven, yet send their employees (one
according to their application) home for a couple of years?  Does the
care and feeding of “beef cattle ranching and farming” take a vacation
for two years?  Do laying hens stop laying eggs for two years?  Do Dairy
Cattle stop producing milk for two years?  Can a ranch family perform
all the necessary chores to supplant a previously employed work force
for two years?  If the dairy cattle continued to produce milk, was it
sold, and at a profit?  If the laying hens continued to lay eggs were
they as well taken to market and sold? Did the ranch stop raising beef
cattle to be sold?  What exactly was the loss suffered by the farming
business that allowed them to apply for PPP loans to pay employees “not
to work” and yet have the ability to sell their products for the entire
time encountering no loss, pocket the income and then pay employees
“that were sitting at home” with PPP loan money?  To add insult to
injury, the taxpayer will not receive any money back from those PPP
loans as they “have been paid in full or forgiven”.  Looks like $1.4
million in this case was put to “good use”.

While the above example of questionable loan activity with the SBA will
no doubt not even warrant an investigation, it should be made clear to
the community that those questions warrant an answer by the family
involved.  Also not likely to happen when you live on a different plain
than most who make up the local community. It is most unfortunate that
there are people in this community that chose to “game the system”
because they “can”.  While there is the very real prospect that others
in the local community chose to behave in a similar fashion, it would be
nice if they paid a price for their subterfuge.  Maybe eventually they
will.  Perhaps the list of those that applied for those loans should
become public knowledge in local media circles, and, whether or not
those businesses actually closed their doors during the pandemic “if
they were forced to do so by mandate”.   The ability to stay open and
still apply and receive a PPP loan does not count…..

If those of you reading this article do not know who is the example
being referred, should read this paper regularly.  You never know what
will come crawling out from under the rug…. Hopefully the outrage
which is beginning to wake up those footing the bill will take into
account this sample of local “corruption” and start looking around for
the many other samples of government malfeasance and demand better.   It
is likely the only way that things will change for the better in our lives.

4 thoughts on “Some Questions About Local PPP Loans Taken And Forgiven”
  1. It’s good to know someone is reporting on local current events. Perhaps the Crescent City Times should start taking Covid propaganda money for advertisement like the Triplicate.

    Are PPP loans good or bad? For most people it depends if your paying FOR the loan, or your getting paid FROM the loan. I hope this story continues! It would be interesting to know the value of funds received by public official’s private industry investments/employment. Appears to be a conflict of interest when people imposing an unlawful mandate, are benefitting financially. Maybe C.C.Times can get Covid money for a private investigator.

    Crescent City has some great small businesses. Undoubtedly, many of these loans are well deserved on the premise the illegitimate Government Mandates created all this mess. It’s a testament to the determination of local small businesses that have found a way to keep their doors open. While the Government conditioned its citizens to stay at home and don’t socialize, these PPP funds were vital for service/merchandise providers and restaurants. It’s interesting how government created a Covid economy, while suppressing free enterprise and capitalism.

    All the more reason to have a limited Government. To the contrary, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) are creating new positions in insignificant departments at an alarming rate. Their lack of practicality is perpetuating inflation, and compromising their ability to attract and retain qualified law enforcement. The BOS and Chris Howard will be begging the community to keep Measure R. They refuse to listen to constituents as the “Rhino” board claims they need more tax money to strengthen local law enforcement. Maybe if they weren’t so self-serving, and careless with allocating funds they could properly compensate our law enforcement officials. The County will advertise Measure R as a choice between crime, or law and order. In reality, county officials and their unquenchable appetite to expand government is the reason law enforcement is not being compensated adequately. County Administrators mismanagement of funds has them soliciting for more taxes. Of course, they won’t hold themselves accountable when they illegitimately take PPP dollars, or give themselves raises. Del Norte residents should resist County Administrators propaganda to increase taxes, and hold Administrators accountable to be financially responsible.

    So, it depends on the business receiving the PPP loan if it’s good or bad for our community. Anytime the Government gives out money, a large portion of the good intention funds are claimed illegitimately. Some loans were allocated properly to businesses that were unjustly victimized during these mandates. Other Businesses unethically received loans to increase their personal wealth. These businesses seized the financial opportunity knowing there would be little oversight and accountability of funds. They took the money because they could, and not because of endured hardships.

    Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about the criminal conduct. It appears we don’t pay law enforcement enough to enforce laws. Our DA’s office won’t prosecute fraud or corruption, and criminals hardly ever admit their guilt. It’s an endless cycle of misinformation, victimizing the innocent, and expanding Government. Horrifically, its almost like they planned it.

    1. The Triplicate is a sad characature of its former self. It has gone from really bad to much worse. I won’t count on them to hold anyone accountable for anything.

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